Road Safety and Moving Days

The LA Times just finished up a big three-piece report on U-Haul and their safety track record (or lack thereof) over the years that reminded me of the woeful state of a U-Haul trailer (and the pitiful service that went along with it) that moved me and my family a few years back — I still look back and am amazed sometimes at our relative luck, though that was a horrific move, not to be sent plummeting to injury or death, what with the corroded and cracked tire rim we traveled on– and I just wanted to remind people who may be moving themselves or their college-age kids or their friends this summer, when it seems like everybody is moving, to make sure you inspect any vehicle you rent and to pack it with care.

Though I know I’ll never use U-Haul again, since I don’t have any experience with local U-Haul outlets, I won’t specifically steer anyone away from them. Though the last time I moved, Budget was definitely the way to go.

5 Comments so far

  1. Banana Lee Fishbones (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 6:52 pm

    I always thought that U-Haul was initially a local enterprise, but Wikipedia says I’m (sorta) wrong:

    Does anyone know for sure? I remember being told that the U-Haul on Powell (in the 40s or 50s, I can’t remember the cross street) was the original location. Anyone got anything more conclusive than Wikipedia that can back me up?

  2. Aaron B. Hockley (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 9:12 pm

    BLF, as you drive into Ridgefield there’s a huge “Welcome to Ridgefield, birthplace of U-Haul” sign.

    That’s not necessarily definitive, but it falls in like with Wikipedia.

  3. RedMolly (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 9:47 pm

    Just to offer a recent perspective: we used Penske for our 1100-mile interstate move three weeks ago. The initial truck rental price was more than U-Haul’s (Budget had no trucks available), but Penske’s trucks are all diesel (cheaper than gas these days) and get five or six miles to the gallon more than U-Haul’s. I think we came out ahead in the end, and the 26-foot truck was in like-new condition and not too hard to drive.

    We also rented a U-Haul trailer for our motorcycle and some large potted plants; there was absolutely no instruction offered about loading or suggested maximum speed limit. The trailer was also filthy and had a fair amount of body damage. Got it here over the mountains just fine, though.

  4. David (unregistered) on June 27th, 2007 @ 2:18 am

    On Penske’s web site it looks like just the 22′ and 26′ trucks are diesel. The 16′ truck I rented in January was gasoline.

    Regardless, I think that Penske is definitely the way to go. I’ve moved across the country in a Penske truck no fewer than five times in the past seven years, and I’ve never had a problem. On the other hand, I’ve seen U-Hauls broken down on the side of the road more times than I can remember.

  5. Miz J (unregistered) on June 27th, 2007 @ 10:40 am

    I’m not surprised – my ex used to work for U-Haul in or near Federal Way, so I heard stories.

    When I moved across country by myself, I used Penske, as well, and had no problems.

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